Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ten Months

It has been ten months today since i last held my little girls. Someone asked me recently if I was beginning to feel things start to really come back with full emotion as I begin to approach the birthday of Annalise and Emmalyn. It did not take long for me to give her an answer. The truth is no. I cannot say that I do because the pain today is just as raw as it was on that day. There are still daily reminders of all the things we will miss. No baby dedication at church, no birthday parties, no dance classes, no double strollers, no extra room needed for vacations, no story time and tickle time and all the other things we remember so fondly about raising Grayson and Evan. There is still great sadness for all of us and tears when I least expect them sometimes. There is still hurt and anger and emptiness and sorrow and wondering and fear and eyes that you just can't see behind. There are still odd interactions with family and friends and coworkers. I still want to hold my girls. But in spite of all that, I know a God of Hope. One that is carrying me through the bittersweet even when I am angry. A God that is in all the details and a God that one day will invite me home to hold my girls. Until then I believe there is work to be done here. Work that I may never have taken on without the brief life of my girls. Work that is truly passion.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back in Business

June 26th; the last post...(also the day before my computer took a tumble off the end of the couch and has been out of comission) was full of things I wanted to remember.  I am happy to report that the day delivered.  Glenn and I were able to spend a little bit of time out in the middle of the lake in the boat just enjoying being alone in the quiet.  And boy was it quiet...I was even able to keep my crying quiet.  I secretly hoped to see a shooting star (or two) but mo such luck.

We had a great vacation at the lake although there were definitely some emotional moments.  We had the opportunity to talk about one trip in particular that Glenn took the kids on when they were much younger (the coke and peanut story) and how that might have played out for all involved had the same scenario had taken place with Annalise and Emmalyn as the back washers.  We all had quite a laugh over that.  Probably the first time I have laughed when remembering the girls.  There were also a few tears and some serious faces and we talked about how the two things that would have made our trip perfect would have been having our girls and a permanent place on the lake.  We had such high hopes of taking them there and so many things we wanted to share with the four of them together.  My greatest comfort during this time was remembering the words of a song by I Will Carry You by Selah:

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
And He says:
I`ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?
Remembering that God loves my precious girls more than I could ever even imagine possible is not the easiest task at hand; but one that I desperately try to hold on to. 
I am signing off for now as there is a great task at hand.  Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Help Mate and Friend

Here it is once again that time of night for me and I am wide awake.  Not able to turn my mind off but I am beginning to learn to treasure this time deeply.  I attempted to lay in bed and fall asleep but my thoughts were just chasing circles around in my head so I thought it best to get them out.

This week has been hanging over my head for months now and it has finally arrived.  Our annual return to Lake Glenville.  The exact place that holds such a special place in our hearts for so many reasons especially since that beautiful day God blessed our lives with our baby girls, Annalise and Emmalyn. I have been so anxious about coming back because I knew that this would be such a tender time in our lives.  As I sit here tonight and type this out I am almost ashamed that I worried so over this, because I should have known all along how tenderly God would hold us.  I cried many tears before we left our house for this trip, some behind my sunglasses in the car on the way and some since we arrived, but I am confident that they all have been seen and felt.  Faithful He has continued to be. 

This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says:
I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.
2 Kings 20:5

Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record?

Today is a very tender day as it has significant meaning for two very different reasons.  It is a day that my husband and I should receive feel such joy as we celebrate our wedding anniversary, but this year will also be recognized as the seven month mark of losing our daughters.  So unfair that this day should have to be shared.  I pray that as the sun rises in the morning that through great sadness God will shine His perfect light.  I so want to honor my husband today.

Today I want to remember the day I first saw him.  The day I knew I wanted to marry him.  The day that he asked me to marry him.  The day we said I do.  The first time he brought me to this place at the lake I have grown to love so dearly.  Our first house.  Our first move.  Our first kiss.  The look in his eyes when he looks at our children.  The look in his eyes when he looks at me.  The laughter in his voice when only the two of us get the joke.  The relief in his breath when work is not a stressor.  The dreams that we dream together.

I want him to know all the things that I love about him:

The fact that he is a great husband all the time
A great father (even when my heart races because I feel he is being to hard or protective and the way
                         it steams when I feel he is being a push over)
A hard worker, way harder than we need him to be

I love the way he looks in a suit (which I get to see almost every day), I love the way he always smells like his cologne (even after he cuts the grass), and after all these years I have even learned to love his snoring (because if I can hear it, it means he's there).

So tonight, when I should be sleeping, I am sitting here at the lake by a dim lamp in the living room at Tranquility Cottage.  It is 58 degrees outside and the only light outside other that my lamp is the glow on the water from the moon.  The crickets are chirping in the distance and two of my children are sleeping peacefully in the same room because they chose to, not because we make them.  The stars are always out and if I look up at the sky long enough it feels like I could reach right into Heaven which I would love to do right now.  But God's plan is different and so I sit here, knowing I am not alone, while I can hear my husband snoring in the background.  The man that is the father to all four of my children.  My help mate and friend.  The love of my life.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Head Over Heart

I have been thinking a lot over the past several days about a book that I have attempted to read now for the third or fourth time.  I mentioned this in a Facebook post recently and one friend actually thought that I was writing a book; so clarification... I am not writing a book, just attempting to finish reading one.  I was deeply honored however that someone thought I had taken that on and even wanted to read it.  (BTW I probably could write a book at this point in my life).

If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that my faith has definitely taken the front seat in my healing process.  No day is easy yet and I truly do no think that it ever will be, but I am confident that God has His hands all over me and this difficult time in my life.  After much internal debate and emotional turmoil, I decided that I needed to seek out a professional therapist that had years of experience in dealing with losses such as ours.  I just simply was at the point that breakdown was on the brink and I needed someone not emotionally attached but qualified to guide me through this unfathomable pain.  I made the appointment and went in to see her.  She assured me that my feelings and emotions are all normal, part of the normal grieving process that happened in different ways and different timing for different people.  Thank goodness because the way some people were acting I was beginning to wonder if I was a weirdo for continuing to be so emotionally distraught over losing Annalise and Emmalyn.  That was a positive outcome of our meeting (as well as some other thins).  Toward the end of our meeting, she suggested that I read a book before I came back to see her and I just had a funny feeling that I knew the title she was going to throw out at me and I was right.  It was a book that I had started reading at the suggestion of another bereaved mother.  I had started to read it and I commonly read in bed at night when I am unable to sleep.  I reached an area of the text that really seemed to bother me and I thought that I had possibly read some portion after taking something to help me sleep and would have helped me to understand what the author was saying now.  So.... at page 127, I started over.  This time sure to be fully awake and paying attention as I read.  I mean really close attention.  However, I reached that same point in the book and realized that the part the was so troubling to me, was indeed what the author was implying.  So once again I put it aside.  But after seeing the therapist and explaining my position about why His position in the text was so troubling to me, she told me that she really thought that if I would continue to read it, (if I was able to get to the end), she felt like I would feel differently.  And boy right now I would do anything, I mean anything to feel differently.  So after a couple of days I started over, again!

This book does have many valid arguments in it, but the one that bothers me the most, is that the authors basic argument is that random bad things happen in life and that God is just not big enough to stop them.  Major theological stump for me!!  I mean MAJOR!  I am truly a believer in a God of miracles.  I do not believe that God caused my babies to die, but I do one hundred percent believe that He could have prevented it if He had chosen to do so.  But for a reason unknown to me, He didn't and now I just have to trust that His purpose in both their lives and their deaths is all for His glory in the end.  I know that some of you think that I am probably totally off my rocker. But I assure you that instead of being off my rocker, I am trying daily to climb into it right in the lap of God and allow Him to be my God of all comforts.  Because may days that is the only place I feel any comfort at all.

I am disappointed to say that I once again have been unable to finish this book and am not sure I will ever even attempt again, but have been given a new one that so far is addressing the same issues in a more biblical fashion.  Thanks to the person that understood my dilemma and offered to let me borrow this new book.  Please pray that as I read this title, I will gain a better understanding of the questions that I have and find great comfort.

These books, however, have allowed me to think about faith in a deeper realm both for myself and for others.  What is in our lives that drawn us to a "less" shakeable faith.  I don't want to say an unshakable faith because the reality is that at times we all get our faith shaken up.  Or what didn't happen in our lives, or has not happened yet to help us develop that "less" shakeable faith.  I can;t imagine not thinking that there was more to life that just what is here on this earth.  To not think that there is life everlasting.  Life everlasting with my girls someday.  Life everlasting with my other two precious children and my husband.  Life everlasting with my parents and in-laws, grandparents and dear friends (oh how I miss you Missy).  How lost I would feel and what purpose would life really have.  What reason would we have to run the great race?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1

I must admit, that at times I struggle, and especially on the days that I feel that losing our girls was was unfair.  And o the days that I am angry and confused about God's plan, and even more when I can't feel Him close.  But my questions over the pat few days has been troubling to me.  Is it that I truly believe in my heart and am trouble on days convincing my head, or I am I believing in my head and having trouble convincing my heart?

I would truly like to believe that in heart God's truths ring loud and clear, and that bringing my mind on board at times is the challenge.  But I must admit that deep down that is not always the case.  But daily I continue to remember the words found in Hebrews 11:1 (words that my dear friend Missy lived out so courageously until God called her home).

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith,
is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.
It's our handle on what we can't see."
Hebrews 11:1 (MSG)

And I will strive daily to:

"Fix my eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for
 the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat
down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such
 opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12:2-3

I pray that you too will examine what it is exactly that hinders your faith.  Take it to God and ask Him to take it away.  I am always willing for you to comment about your struggles and pray for you specifically.  You can even comment anonymously, I never need your name, God know who you are.

Dear Lord thank you for times like these when you really give us great insight into the things that stand between us and You.  Please give us the strength to be honest about what those things are and then be selfless enough to trust you with them.

Just as a side note for those of you that may not be my Facebook friend, I finally completed my journey in finishing reading my entire Bible on May 12.  What a glorious Mother's Day accomplishment that was for me and I can not begin to tell you the comfort my journey brought.  If you have never set out to read the Bible all the way through, or if you have tried in the past and given up,  pick it up again and ask God to see you through it.  I promise He will show up in some BIG ways.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Emotional Week

It's been one week since Mother's Day and I still can't really believe that it has come and gone without us having our girls here.  In fact sometimes it is really hard to believe that any of this has really happened.  Chances are if I hadn't held those two tiny babies in my arms I am not sure I would believe it.  Man this is really hard.  Everything feels hard these days.  I still would just love to lay in bed some days and let the time pass me by and sometimes when I am home alone that is just what I do.  I still read and read and read hoping to find a glimmer of hope in my grief.  I still cry every time I get in the car to go to work and in most church services.  It is still hard to see little babies and pregnant women.  Imagine that....the exact group of women that I work with.  Lord give me strength is all I can think about that.  I sure hope God gives me a glimpse of His plan some time soon.

This past month has been very emotional for me.  My baby boy turned 11.  My oldest daughter attend her first prom.  Then she turned right around and turned 17 yrs old four days later.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday they were just making there way into this world of ours turning our lives "right side up".  There was Mother's Day and an extremely emotional week at work and then a baby shower and a first birthday.

Yes I attended a baby shower, in fact I helped host it but man was I nervous.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world because it was for a dear friend but it was very hard to feel comfortable.  I am typically a very sentimental type of gift giver, but my heart just couldn't do, so I put together a more practical type of gift.  All the necessities.  Laundry detergent, gas drops, Tylenol, Balmex, A&D ointment, snack cups, spoons, tissues, a book and some music along with a heart felt letter about motherhood.  Thankfully God was looking out for me too.  All the gifts seemed to be practical in nature.  Not so sure how I would have handled a bunch of cute little outfits and blankets.  Actually I know how I would have handled it, tearfully just as I feel now sitting here typing this.  I too am very thankful that my friend understands.  I am so very excited for her and know that she is going to make a great mommy.  Oh to hear that word for the first time again...

Today was also a little emotional for me as it was my little Parker next doors birthday, #1.  I think of all the things Sara and I had talked about our little ones doing together.  We had such plans.  It sure was great fun dreaming while we could.  But as I watched him sit in that little highchair today, playing with balloons, singing happy birthday and the watching him carefully check out his very first birthday cake, I felt all of my dreams for my girls just swirling down the drain.  The number of things that you remember you will miss is just more than you would ever imagine.  Everything from their first sounds to their first prom and way beyond.  It all lies right there under the surface just looking for a tiny hole to escape and believe me it only takes "tiny" for that to happen.  You never know what and you never know when but believe me it is always just right under the surface.  Thankfully today it didn't happen until I was safe at home.

Please God just give me a tiny glimpse of why or even what I am supposed to do from here.  Help me to trust your faithfulness and continued healing (although sometimes it doesn't feel like healing at all).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'm fine...(Or Am I)

This week is finally coming to an end and I am extremely thankful for that.  I am not exactly sure how much more I could stand in one week.  So very much has happened and I am frazzled even beyond my own awareness.  Life seems to be just spinning all around me while I am standing still in the middle.

The question I have pondered much this week is what do you do when something like this threatens the very core of everything you know and love?  Everything you have ever wanted to be or do.  Everyone you have ever loved.  How do you pick up the pieces and start over?  How do you get through the day to day much less the difficult things?  How do you continue to live out your dreams when your dreams have been shattered?  How do you face new trials when you can barely handle the ones already in your lap? 

I don't know the answer and won't even try to come up with one.  I do know that there are a lot of things wrestling around in my mind with each other and I just can't seem to sort it out.  I am frustrated and hurt and lonely and broken and yet when other ask how are you I still seem to muster a half smile and say either I'm fine or I'm good.

Why do we do this?  Why do we feel forced to hide our brokenness from each other?  Why are we so selfish that we can barely stand to listen to someone else's brokenness and hurt and certainly never offer to?

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

Below is a copy of something I read this week that spoke directly to my heart tonight as I remembered it and pulled it out to read it again.  It is from the current bible study that I am doing, A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

"Do we need to grant one another permission to not be fine?

Could we come broken before the Father, and cry out for His mercy and strength?  He did promise to never leave us or forsake us.  Even when we don't feel it, could we still cling to His promise and claim it?

HE knows we're not fine.

Could the trials be the very thing that break the strings holding on our mask, allowing it to fall to the ground so we can cling to Him a little tighter?

The truth is...

We aren't fine....We are forgiven.

We aren't in control....We are held by the hands that control our very heartbeat.

We aren't invincible....We are made to look to the only One who can heal the broken."

How thankful I am at this very moment for those words. 

Lord please help me see how to let you help me.

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of
 Christ may dwell in me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Never Would Have Guessed

I sat quietly in church this morning listening to the sermon but somewhat distracted.  My eyes kept wandering across the room up and down the pews.  It took me some time to calm my heart and realize why.  I was looking for the very two people that have stirred such emotion in me since the first of the year.

I have avoided writing about this before now and I am not sure exactly why.  Maybe it's the amount of pain that it causes each time I think of it, or maybe it's because this day was coming.  None the less... here goes.

Shortly after the first of the year, we visited a new church.  The music was beautiful, the sermon, was biblical and the people were friendly and welcoming.  But I left the service that morning as fast I my feet would move, tears in my eyes, daggers in my heart, and absolutely no intentions of ever returning to that church again. 

That particular Sunday a family was introduced to the congregation as new members.  A young mom and dad with their precious twin girls.  Twin girls only a few months old, probably born about the same time as mine.  Oh how forgotten by God I felt that day.  Those precious babies; why couldn't I be holding my precious babies?

But something drew us back there the next week.  Actually my husband (and God) drew us back there the next week.  After the sermon, I slowly walked my way to the front of the church to take communion crying the whole way only to be standing at the Lord's table beside the father of the twins.  Felling once again, How could you do this to me God? 

Many weeks have passed.  Once more I have taken communion beside that father and one Sunday evening they sat on the pew directly in front of me.  Out of the whole church, they came and sat directly in front of me.  As we sang God's praise that evening, one of those babies sat in her car seat, looking straight up into my tearing eyes for what felt like an eternity, yet I couldn't look away.  It was as if she were looking straight into my soul.  A look that was grasping none other than my vulnerability.

Then came last Sunday.  The last Sunday prior to my due date.  What else could have possibly happened other than those precious baby girls being dedicated to the Lord as I sat and watched.  Trying my best not to sob out loud but sobbing hysterically on the inside.  The tears were flowing like a waterfall as my children held my hands and looked at me so helplessly.  No idea what to say or how to fix it.  We watched as they walked those beautiful baby girls up and down the aisle for all to see and my heart delighted and broke all at the same time.  A feeling best described by Angie Smith in her book I Will Carry You.

"I can distinctly remember the way grief and joy danced together as if they had a right to."

Why have you forgotten me God?  And then came the scripture reading: 

"Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your mind?"
Luke 24:38

I have seen all to well how God has His hands all over me and my family and our loss.  But still doubt rises.  Lord please help me not to doubt that You are still in this.  That You will bring me through this and that You will get great glory out of this.

But never would I have imagined that He would have me looking for those babies.  God is good in all things.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Softest Pink

Many of you have asked me if I was going to do anything special today and I had been really uncertain.  Uncertain if I would even be strong enough to and even more uncertain of what could be special enough.   My emotions have been raw and I have been overwhelmed by all of the messages I have received expressing your thoughts and prayers.  Please know that even though I have not responded, they are much appreciated. 

I would have been alone today and had planned on a lot of reading (trying to finish Isaiah and Jeremiah), possibly a trip to Botanical Gardens and a lot of prayer and pondering.  God saw fit for me to not be alone and Evan spent the day at home sick with me.  So though my plans were a little off, it was very comforting to not be alone.

I have thought much about my girls today.  The happiness and laughter we we found out we were pregnant.  The excitement of the kids when we told them we were going to have a baby.  The overwhelming tears and laughter when we first saw "two" of them on ultrasound.  What a double blessing.  The awe I felt every time we watched them kick around on an ultrasound.  The relief we felt when we were told they were Mono/Di and not Mono/Mono.  All of the congratulations.  The blessing of an even bigger family after such a long time.  The excitement we all had to see them on ultrasound together that morning and then the nauseating feeling I had when our dreams were shattered.  The tears and prayers we prayed for the two days after we lost Emmalyn.  Then reliving it all over again on that Friday morning we lost Annalise.  The heartbreak I felt walking both into and out of that hospital.  The fear I felt when it was time and my doctor had not arrived yet.  The beauty of my girls as they were layed in my arms and I held them for the first time.  The guilt I have because I couldn't protect them.  The pain I felt as I watched my husband's and my children's hearts break.  The days I just layed in the bed not able to do anything.  The decisions we had to make and the unfairness of our children being gone before us.  The beautiful service that we had and all of those dear people that came to help us celebrate their lives.  The scent of all the beautiful flowers in our house for weeks.  The pain of celebrating Christmas after such a tragedy.  The comfort we received from all of our family and friends.  The hugs and prayers.  The way that our friends and family so tenderly cared for us and continue to do so.  The loneliness I felt after Glenn had to return to work and Grayson and Evan to school. The friendships that have been changed through this experience both in good and bad ways.  The dreaded day I returned to work.  The first time I went back into Labor Room 3.  The first time I had to care for a mother with twins.  The first time I had to do a delivery.  The first time I held a baby after my girls.  The first time I saw a mother lose her baby after me.

Oh how the pain has flooded my mind along with the happiness.  But along with all the memories of my girls it felt only natural to think of others.  Baby Victoria that is here with her parents and her baby brother that left this world too soon.  Baby Moriah who I know in my heart is Annalise and Emmalyn's playmate.  And of course her precious mom and dad.  Baby Ashton and Eliza who I don't know personally but who have touched my heart so deeply during this time of healing.  And Baby Girl Gould who has not been far from my thoughts since that dreaded day I first held her precious mother in my arms and later held her.  All of the parents that have suffered this unbearable anguish that we so helplessly endure.  How God has always given me a heart for these parents but never did I expect to join them.  Then again they never expected to join either. 

I have given thanks for my wonderful husband that has stood beside me during the good days and the bad days, feeling so helpless.  For my children who have endured my tears and mood swings.  How I wish I could have protected them all from this.  My parents who pray for us daily.  My friends and family who continue to pray for us and to send us encouragement and do not expect anything in return.  The support of my coworkers that have allowed me to take this slow because Lord knows this has threatened the love that I have always had for my job in a major way.  The support of a doctor that cares about our hearts and not just his paycheck.

So today I have talked to my girls and to my God.  I have told them how much I love them and miss them.  How I wish I could hold them.  How I wish that today we were all one happy family all together instead of separated and so broken hearted.  And then I prepared to release two of the softest pink balloons into the great wide open.  And once again, I struggled to let go.  It took much longer than I had anticipated but somehow just like that terrible day in November, God gave me the strength to do it.

And as they drifted away I pondered on these two very real verses from God's word.

4God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4
(The Amplified Bible)

3Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us as the [heavy] rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth.
Hosea 6:3
(The Amplified Bible)

Thank you Lord for my precious girls and for your promise that although I feel sadness here on earth there will be joy in the morning. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Exactly is the Evidence

The events of this week have left me broken and angry.  Some events that we have no control over and others that are extremely skewd.  Of course with the girls due date being tomorrow, my emotions are already fragile and therefore the fire is fueled.  The events of this week did how ever drive me to do something that I have been avoiding since November.  Anyway....

I have been deeply troubled by the words evidence based practice this week in particular.  I have encountered numerous mothers recently that have been faced with almost unbearable news.  (The only thing they could have been told that would have been worse would have been that they had lost there precious babies.)  Instead they were told there was a problem and that there was nothing that could be done.  Come back in several weeks and we will reevaluate.  No cerclages (a purse string type stitch to hold the cervix closed), no tocolytics (medications to keep the uterus from contracting), and further more information given for these parents to make informed decisions.  They say evidence based practice does not prove that any of these things make a difference in maintaining a pregnancy.  But the evidence is.... that women WANT their babies.  Fathers WANT there babies. 

Much of this evidence based practice theory, comes from teaching facilities.  Facilities that are most often known for their cutting edge technology.  But with that also often comes a patient population that is not representative of the whole.  Often times patients that have histories that put them at risk, or no support to make these therapies most effective.  That being said there are women out there that are seen by these specialists that would give their life to save their babies.  That should be given the most information and the opportunity to do something that even might save their babies.  And if your "evidence based practice" keeps you from providing that information or those services, you should explain that to these parents, but then let them know that they should seek a second opinion.  Because thank God there are doctors out there that really care about us and our babies.  They care that this may be our only chance, or last chance, and that a loss of a baby effects the rest of your life not just today. 

I so want to compile a list of the things I have heard and seen and take it to them and say "can't you see what you are doing to these women!"  What if this was your wife, or your baby/babies.  However, I am convinced it really wouldn't matter and certainly wouldn' t change anything.

But my heart tells me that if it really were happening to them, or if it really were their wives.....they would be calling my doctor.  The one that deserves a purple heart for all the lives he's saved (babies and mothers) regardless of the evidence.  Because the evidence that matters to him, is that we want our babies.  We are not talking about rashes, infections or minor medical problems; we are talking about a life, a fragile little life that can't protect herself.

Of all the things I have felt after losing Annalise and Emmalyn, the heartache, sorrow, sadness, guilt, failure to protect.....I could go on and on; I am thankful that I did not have to protect them from a bad doctor.  I know they had the BEST!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Scream of Vulnerability

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." Psalm126:5-6

I have written this post a thousand times as it has played out in my mind and heart over the past several days but I continue to be distracted by one thing.....

The Scream.... The blood curdling scream!

A scream that I know all too well, but never let out except when I was alone. The scream of my heart followed by the pleads of my heart when I realized we had lost one of our precious girls. And then again when we lost the second one.

As I sat at the nurses station desk, listening and fighting back the tears, I was silently reliving it. That moment no parent should EVER have to endure, yet somehow it found me, and it found her. The what ifs, the guilt, the sorrow, the unspeakable pain, and then the shattering silence. I was not so simply reliving it! Oh how I prayed for that mommy as I drove home Saturday morning, and how I prayed for myself. That somehow, some way, God would protect me from many things: tears, pain, sorrow, shattered dreams, states, questions, all those things that make us vulnerable.

Vulnerability: susceptible to physical or emotional injury.

Something I have learned as an adult that I hate. I hate vulnerability with a passion. The thought of maybe even possibly being vulnerable makes my heart beat way to fast. It's too risky for me. It has always involved heartache or heartbreak for me. As far back as I can or care to remember. My deepest feelings are the ones I protect the most. Whether right or wrong, it is a protective mechanism I have carried for many years and I am definitely not ready to let it go yet. As a matter of honesty, I am probably more vulnerable when I write here in my blog, than I am at any other time or with anyone. I guess it's kind of sad in a way.

As I move past that scream, or maybe I should say through it, it is clear to me that God knew it was coming. He spoke His truths to me this week in preparation.

First through Romans 15:13

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
I have read it before but it was so much more powerful as it rolled off the
tongues of a husband and wife simultaneously to me as we shared of our faith."

Then again the next day from a couple that had read my blog together and encouraged me to remember that God has a purpose and that He is going to use my pain for His glory. He picked up his Bible and read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 straight into my heart.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion
 and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can
comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our
 comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are
comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces I you patient endurance of the same
 sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as
you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

It continues to amaze me how God always shows up in a  big way just when you need Him to. Even when we waiver in our faith. How He uses others to do His work. How He is always faithful even in the midst of "the scream".

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Carry Me

I have been trying to come here all week but just have not felt I had much to say.  I have spent much of the week with that lump in my throat over my "labor of love" from last weekend.  As I was in the store this morning preparing for Easter tomorrow, that lump was bigger than ever.  How odd it was to be buying for two when I should have been buying for four.  It was all I could do to hold back the tears.  I love getting things for my kids and this made my shopping trip a bit of a damper.  How I just wish that the six of us were riding home from the hospital in our car just in time to celebrate this joyous season of Easter.

Easter has always been a special holiday for me for several reasons.  I spent two Easters pregnant with my older two children.  Evan was actually born the day after Easter.  I remember one year when his birthday was on Easter him asking if the Easter Bunny was going to bring his birthday presents.  I laugh about that every time.  But Easter this year is so much more.  The true meaning has really hit home.  It is, after all, the events of this Holy Week that guarantee my eternity with my girls and the rest of my family when the time comes.  A time we have been so blessed to be given, yet so unworthy to receive.  A gift we could never live up to and could never pay anything in return.  As I think about our Jesus, flogged beyond recognition, spit on, yelled at and then humbly taking on His crown of thorns, I am deeply touched.  I think back to the times I have seen the movie The Passion and how it was just too horrible to watch that portion or to even listen to it for that matter.   I think of Him carrying that cross and His prayers before that from the Garden of Gethsemane.  The pain He must have felt, both physically and emotionally.  Pain that we could never fully understand.  Part of the beauty of the story is that He carried that cross for us, that cross was us.  It was me.  So in times like this, when my pain is so deep, and I'm carrying my own cross, I will humbly remember to let Him carry me.

I pray that this weekend and especially tomorrow that you would be deeply touched by the life everlasting that we have been guaranteed.  That it would hit home deeper than ever before.  That you would picture the horrific scenes of Good Friday and wake tomorrow morning to a Glorious splendor you have never know.  That the cross would really be something to you this year.  And that at the end of the day, we would all be able to take all of our brokenness there, and fully know that just as he carried that cross, he carries us.

May God Bless You and Your Family this Easter

Carry Me by Audrey Assad

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Dear Lord,

I am keeping it simple today.  For my heart is restless.  As I read your word this morning I am reminded to stay in constant communion with you.  Please help me to rest totally in You.  To take this day as it comes and to seek to find You in the midst of every detail.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Moments Like This

It is moments like this that I realize that God's faith in me is far greater than my faith in Him!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What Do I Know of Holy

Last night as I listened to the story of a new mommy that has just found out she is expecting twins, my heart immediately drifted back to September 8, 2011.  The day my husband and I held hands as we saw those two tiny heart beats for the first time.  The happiness, the surprise and the tears of joy.  I love my precious Annalise and Emmalyn as much today as I did that day.  And the pain is as bad today as it was on Wednesday November 23, Friday, November 25, and Saturday November 26th.  The only difference is that God has given me the strength to grieve and cope more effectively than in the beginning.  I am so thankful for the short ultrasound video I have to hold on to.

Last night I could have easily just melted into pieces.  There were tears and my heart aches but it is bittersweet.  How happy I am for this new mommy while at the same time so sad that I will never get to be with my girls this side of Heaven.  I am very in tuned to the fact though that my blessings and sorrows have nothing to do with the blessings and sorrows of others.  God did not let me lose my girls only to bless someone else in my face.  He doesn't work that way.  We all deserve each blessing that God gives us and not because of our works but because of God's mercy and grace. 

Music plays a big role in my life and I look for God's comforts there often.  I am sure you have noticed that as my songs here often change.  But as I drove home this morning I listened What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road.  As I listened to the words, I thought about how my story has unfolded.  And the truth in the words.  What do we really know of Holy?  Can we even begin to imagine it?  The touch of Our Saviors hands on our face, wounds that heal?  What do we really know?  One line in the lyrics says, "I think I made you too small."  One thing that I know of Holy, is that I refuse to make my God too small.  He is going to bring a great joy to my life and not only replace my anguish with joy, but turn it into joy.  What a way to honor my girls! 

Dear Annalise and Emmalyn,

How my heart aches as I should be preparing for your arrival this week.  Somehow we ended up on a different path.  A path of Holy.  And although my heart breaks I am comforted by your presence with a Savior that touches your face, and looks into your eyes, and still has enough left to hold me in my pain.  The moment I saw the two of you, was a moment that God truly gave me a glimpse of who He might be.  Forever in my heart and around my neck.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Heart Warming Message

Laying here just full of tears after receiving this text message:

"Thinking of you and your angels today."

Warmth just flooded my heart as I read it. Sometimes you just need to know someone remembers..... and God delivers. This is the very week I would be making last minute arrangement for delivery of my precious girls this weekend. To have only made it this far.
I imagine I would be laying on the couch tummy Full, I mean FULL of twins trying to relax as much as I could while my boys are screaming at the tv about March madness and Grayson sitting beside me taking in some last minute baby movements. Oh the sweetness that thought brings. But equal sweetness comes from the reality that it was four months today since we said goodbye and someone remembered. I could just hug her neck. I hope she know what she did for my heart tonight.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Mystery of God, The Beauty of God

Hy heart is heavy for my friend that I have been praying for as she is now walking in my footsteps.  Thankfully with God holding her hand.  We have talked several times and I have had to opportunity to just hold her in my arms.  Praise God for the short time she was able to spend with her baby girl.  She said to me that she knows her daughter and mine are great playmates.  Sweetness to the soul.  Please pray with me for this family in the days to come.

I am still completely amazed every time God delivers.  I guess it's the mystery of God that is often times beautiful.  After posting last time, I went back to bed and picked up my Bible to continue on my journey.  There it was something I did not even know existed.

"Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 
The angel said to hose who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." 
Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you."  Zechariah 3:3-4

Almost the same thing that I said at the end of my last post and exactly what I meant.  I hope I will always continue to be amazed at the wonder of God.  Below are some pictures from our trip last weekend to Botanical Gardens, just a beautiful reminder of all God gives us to enjoy.  This time I specifically chose not to overlook it.

Even the flowers smile back at us

Friday, March 23, 2012

We Can't Afford This Life Without It

It is almost 1am and I am wide awake as usual pondering over God's lessons in my life.  I often use this quiet time to either read my Bible, listen to JoyFM or spend some most intimate prayer time with God.  I am still well on my way to having completely read my Bible (the whole thing) and am really looking forward to going back to some scriptures for more depth.  Oh how God's words have been a comfort to me in these past months.  Some very real moments when you think that had to be written just for me.  The truth is it was and it wasn't.  God knew in advance I would need it, but He also knew someone else would too.  Maybe that someone is you. 

"Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets
who spoke in the name of the Lord.  As you know, we consider blessed those who
have persevered.  You have heard of Job's perseverence and have seen what the Lord
 finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy." 
 James 5:10-11

These two verses have been much thought about in my mind this week.  As I thought about my own situation and as I thought of that sweet mama I mentioned last week.  Oh how I hope she can feel my prayers for her.  It really is a great feeling when you feel prayers.  Hopefully you too have experienced it.  If not, pray for it.  Pray for it like Elijah prayed for rain.  Pray like something is at stake my friend, because it is.  You see as I am completeing my study on the book of James, one thing that Beth pointed out is that the thing that the enemy wants the most is our faith!  Not our family, or marriage, or relationships with others, (he wants all those too) but the the thing he would love to get his hands on most is our faith.  Friends I have given it to him in the past, but not anymore.  I WILL NOT let him get near it ever again.  And part of that, as Beth said, is actively acknowledging God's faithfulness. 

"Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. 
As surely as the sun rises, He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."  Hosea 6:3

God is faithful!  I can not even begin to tell you how faithful He has been to me over the past four months.  I am greatly saddened at the faithfulness that I have missed during the times that I thought I could do this thing we call life without Him.  I know I missed some great stuff.  And I know I can't do it alone!  He will be faithful to you too.  In everything!  His word tells us:

"For the word of the Lord is right and true;
He is faithful in all he does."  Psalm 33:4

In all things big and small, life altering things and the day to day things.  He has not forgotten us.  Remain faithful to Him.  He is the only one that can heal your brokeness.  Don't expect to get it from anywhere or anyone else.  The burden is too heavy.  Don't carry it any longer.  Take it to the foot of the cross, in all it's brokeness and leave it there.  He will pick it up like the dirty laundry at the foot of your bed and make it clean!  How glad I am that my God is so full of compassion and mercy.  We can't afford this life without it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Was I Dreaming Jacob's Dream

I have been thinking over the past few days about something someone said to me after reading my blog.  Her comment was that she was amazed at how I remembered the details of our story so clearly.  My reply to her was that she would too.  It really is a gift in a way, to be able to remember everything so vividly throughout this time.  For instance never being able to forget the exact day that we named our girls.  Oh what a blessed day that was.  Never being able to forget that day in the doctors office and the subsequent visit.  Never being able to forget our brief time we spent holding Annalise and Emmalyn.  To be able to picture them so perfect laying there in my arms.  A real treasured memory to me.  There are so many things that I remember so clearly and am thankful for.  Especially since there have been days when I questioned whether or not I would be able to remember anything.  I once told my friend that I was worried that over time I would forget.  Forget who was born first, Annalise or Emmalyn.  Who weighed what, which one was which, what times they were born.  Things that all parents of twins I am sure wonder.  But for me I just couldn't think about forgetting.  She told me that she hoped that one day, the pain would be less and that maybe like our other children that we confuse (you know how you call one the other or how some say that after years you forget which one weighed 6lbs 3oz and which one weighed 7lbs 1oz, or sometimes even call your children the the dogs name)one day I would be laughing as I tried to remember these same details about the girls.  I hope for me this is not the case.  I truly don't want to forget. 

I also have been thinking about the things that God has so blessed my heart with over the past week.  Especially in the world of work and babies.  We (my patient, myself, and I am sure many of my coworkers) have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of her twins for the past several weeks.  As the time drew closer I was really anxious and even worried how I would feel as her due date was just four days prior to mine.  It really is hard to believe that right now I could be, maybe even should be holding my girls as I would be 34 weeks and three days.  At the very least just a few more weeks.  However I was still very excited for her and her family and had a chance to really get to know her as I cared for her and those precious boys in her tummy over the last weeks.  Well finally they arrived.  Last week!  How precious they are!  So small and fragile, yet so strong.  Oh how that mother blessed me when she said go down and hold my babies.  I was hesitant at first, but mustered up just enough strength.  Actually I think God mustered it up.  So down I went and held one of those precious boys and fed him his 2oclock feeding.  That very action blessed me in some unexplainable way.  The chance to hold and love someone else's baby that we had been so eagerly awaiting.  And then I thought about my neighbor and her big boy that will be a year old in May.  How God just blesses my heart each time I see him and he gets so excited to see me.  Even reaching for me now.  I think he just knows he gets treats at Auntie Coker's house, but whatever the reason, it's ok with me.  I am so thankful that my heart has not become hardened to those that have or are what I so greatly miss.

Finally this morning I am thankful for a dream.  I am not one to dream often except for my bought of nightmares recently, and like I said before I certainly was not one to remember what I had dream.  But last night was different.  So real and so perfect in every detail.  Just like Jacob's dream from the Bible only a different subject matter.  Never have I ever had such a detailed dream.  I even woke up during the middle of it to go to the bathroom and when I layed back down and fell asleep it continued like it had never been interrupted.    I am not sure what it all means but never the less, I am sure it had its purpose. 

"When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place,
and I was not aware of it."  He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! 
This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of Heaven."
 Genesis 28:16-17 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Hurt Beyond Our Own

Why is it that we often times we hurt so bad for others?  Don't mistake the hurt I am talking about for the hurt we get when the sufferings of others make us uncomfortable.  We are talking about two totally different things here!  I have been thinking about this for several days now as I have truly been hurting for a family that I just met.  Is it not enough that we often times hurt so bad due to our own suffering, that we should have to hurt for others too?  I would like to suggest that it is not. Absolutely not enough! Before I go any further I want to thank God that He has given me enough grace and kindness to hurt deeply for others and through the study of James has helped me the realize it.. I know that this may all sound strange, especially if you are going through your own suffering right now, but I hope by the time we get to the end, you will understand.

As I look back over my career as a labor room nurse and NICU nurse prior to that, I can remember many happy times.  By the same token, I can remember many devastating ones.  Just the other day my friend Dawn was reminding me how devastated I was all those years ago when I saw a baby die for the very first time.  I can remember my heart just feeling like it was ripped into pieces.  That poor family, how would they, how could they go on.  I just didn't understand.  And although I had been a christian for many years by that point, my walk with God was fairly immature.  I had no doubt where that precious baby would spend eternity, but I didn't understand how God would ever get this family through this terrible situation.  And many times since then, I have been witness to this same type of situation more than I could ever have imagined this kind of thing existed.  Why these precious babies?  The ones that cross the gates of heaven before they ever take a breath, the ones that their only time here on earth are the few minutes they are comforted in there parents arms as Our Father prepares to take them home, and the ones that we are allowed to love for how many ever precious days or months God gives us with them. 

I don't know why bad things happen to good people.  For that matter I don't know why bad things happen to people at all.  I do not believe for one minute that God causes them to happen, but I do believe that He allows it.  That being said, I fully believe in a God of miracles and I believe that God absolutely has the power to stop bad things from happening.  I don't know why He allowed my girls to be taken from us, or why all those other babies, or why that mother that I met this week that may very well end up losing hers. (By the way I am very proud to tell you all that she too believes in our God of miracles and is lifting prayers one after another).  I do know that He could have stopped it.  He could have spared my heart the suffering.  But I have also come to realize through my suffering what is best stated by Laura Story.

"There is a depth of intimacy with God that can only be known through suffering. 
There is a realiance on Him that can only be experienced when everything else around
my soul seems to give way."

I also believe that it is during times of pain and suffering, whether our own or someone elses, that our prayers are the most heartfelt and earnest.  It really is shameful.  Shameful that hurt is often what it takes for us to remember to pray for those we have promised our prayers.  Shameful that hurt is the major reminder of God's most precious law.

"Love your neighbor as yourself."  Leviticus 19:18

I wish now that as I read through the Bible I had counted the times that this is mentioned as the sum of the entire law.  It is all over the Bible; Old and New Testaments.  I believe that it is in part because of this law that we hurt so bad for others.  As a reminder of love.  Love that God instructed us to display to others, to all!  To remember them and pray for them at all times.  Like I said, hurt often leads to our deepest, most heartfelt prayers.

I am ashamed to say that there have been times that the prayers I promised never went up.  Not because I don't believe or because I didn't have the intention to pray for them, but partly because prayer had just slipped as a priority.  Over the past several months it has become the number one priority.  To pray for myself and others.  Many others!
It has been my great priviledge to hold dear to my heart the value of prayer and the instruction given on it in God's Word.  And then to watch Him deliver.  He really does care about every detail in our lives.  Even the little ones.  Our hurt and the hurt we feel for others.  He feels it my friends; just as deeply as we do.

  "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds
of prayers and request. With this in mind, be alert and always
keep on praying for all of the saints."
 Ephesians 6:18

  "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances,
for that is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is
powerful and effective." 
James 5:16

I still have many unanswered questions.  Some of which may never be answered this side of Heaven, but one thing is for sure:

"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."
 Philippians 3:12-14 (The MSG)

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Walk on the Water

Have you ever taken a real walk on the water?  Thinking back over the past 34 years, I can honestly say that only a very few times in my life have I ever even attempted.  And let me tell you that I have been through some stuff!!  More terrible things in my life than any one person should have to endure, (none of which would glorify God for me to share with you here).  But last night was different.  It was scary and difficult, emotional and  teary (almost sobbing at points), challenging and gut churning, yet in some respects comforting and healing.  And I didn't even have to do it alone.

Last night was the first night that I have attended a delivery since November 23.  Something that I have been dreading in the worst kind of way since I returned to work.  You can not even begin to imagine how just the thought of it made me have heart palpitations and break out in a cold sweat.  But something or should I say "Someone", urged me to step out of the boat onto the water.  Man was I terrified.  For me, for the patient, for the doctor, for anyone who might have to witness what I was so uncertain of: what might happen in that room.  I was able to spend some time with this young woman about to be a mother for the very first time just talking about what to expect and how it would all work before the delivery.  I am not sure if God provided that more for me or for her, or maybe for us both.  I felt myself fall back to those three days as a mother where I had been exactly where she was.  Each time with different feelings, emotions, excitement and fear.  I am almost shaking as I type it is so emotional for me.  And then the time came, when she would welcome her beautiful baby girl into this world.  As I walked to the door, with the same very doctor that delivered my girls, I braced myself and said a quick prayer.  A prayer that God would give me the strength to finish what I had started.  So we began.  Nice and quiet just like I used too.  Calm is best for me and the patient.  But as we got closer, as I counted for her, my words began to get caught up in my throat and the more I counted, the more choked up I got.  I am sure the doctor was thinking, okay is she going to make it through this.  Fortunately, he had as much confidence in me as God did.  As we came even closer to delivery and that mom reached down and touched her babies head, the tears began to flow.  First small and I was able to blink them back, but as we pushed for that last time and that baby made it's way into this world, the tears began to run like a faucet.  Yet in that very moment, there was something a tad bit healing taking place.  I can't explain it and could not even begin to put words to it but my heart felt it.  It was just as if I had stepped out of the boat like Peter and walked on the water.

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  Matthew 14:29

After it was all over, the patient having been keenly aware of my emotional state, asked several questions and I was honest about the situation.  And God blessed me with her kind words.  "I am so thankful that you were here with me.  You made me so comfortable and I would not have wanted it to be anyone else."  Words like that from patients that you have only just met are so tender to the heart.  Especially when you are searching your heart for the answers to why it is that you do what you do.

The next several hours were difficult as well as I struggled to stay afloat of all the emotions that I was feeling.  I was even a little standoffish, but not on purpose.  But as I apologized for that, I was reminded by a very dear friend that "the love of Christ can heal everything." 

After arriving home this morning, my friend Dawn stopped by to bring me a book that apparently is not even supposed to be out yet but she had run across it a a book store in Springfield.  As I read through the first portion God spoke directly to my heart.

 "Your Heavenly Father has given you talents and opportunities that are uniquely yours.  And the very best day to seize those opportunities- and to share them with the world- is this day.  Not tomorrow. Not next week.  Not next year. Today."  Laura Story

That is exactly what he helped me to do as He walked beside me and held my hand. 

Thank you to all of you that were there and supportive in my journey last night.  God too uses you all to serve a very specific purpose in the lives of other.  And last night it just happened to be mine.

"Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate.  For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life."  James 1:12 MSG

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hello again!  I want to say that I am sorry that it has been a while since I posted, especially to those of you that have called or emailed me saying are you okay, it's been a while.  I have had quite a busy few weeks and have been dealing with several particular problems of the heart during this season of Lent.  I have not been on Facebook either as that is what I gave up for Lent as it truly was getting in my way spending time with God on certain days.  You know so often we want to call a friend, or make a post, or confide in our spouse with our problems.  But during the last several weeks, my focus have been to take it straight to the top.  FIRST!!  Here I want to say especially with those things that are the real heart strings.  However, the truth is, it should be that way with all things.  Then we have to take the time to listen for God to answer.  Something that takes hard work and not very many people are willing to do.  I am learning much. 

For those of you that are aware of my New Year's resolution to read the entire Bible by the girls birthday, (or due date as it looks like might be the case), I am proud to report that I am well underway.  Almost three fourths of the way there.  (And I still have until either November 26th or April 27th, whichever fits God's plan.)  I will say that there are books that I have read and merely become familiar with, and then there are those that I have dug into looking for something more, something deeper, something of God.  As always He has delivered.  By the time I am finished I will at least be familiar with the entire Bible, making finding those sweet spots a bit easier.  Oh how precious those sweet spots are to my heart.

I had the chance to visit yesterday with a dear friend of mine that I can not even begin to thank enough for all that she has been and done for me.  She simply let me cry on her shoulder over a tender moment without any questions.  Now that's a friend.  Somethings are just private matters and although we can share certain aspects, not all of it can be disclosed.  Thank you Dawn for just being there!  Daily.

As I sit here and write, I think of something that I encountered yesterday.  Again the specifics are not important, God knows what they are, but the implications could be life changing.  Yesterday as I had my quiet time and began to pray, I knew there was a specific situation that I needed to pray about that involved someone that is very dear to me.  As I prayed I just couldn't get it together.  I was finding it very difficult to pray for this person.  So I prayed God help me understand why.  And you know that funny feeling you get when you feel convicted.  Well, there it was loud and clear.  It is really hard to pray for someone when you feel like they have hurt you, or your feelings, or they just don't understand.  Really hard.  But no one knows that better that Christ.  Because He did it.  Out loud!  As He hung on the cross, His words were loud and clear:

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  Luke 23:24
God helped me to see two things through situation.  Although praying for those that have hurt us is hard, it is our responsibility and a privilege.  And second, sometimes we need to pray it out loud!  Real loud!  So after several attempts at it, I got it right.  Just me and God and the raw bitter truth of my heart.  Just like He wants it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I have just made it back home from my Bible study this morning, a Beth Moore study on the book of James. It is currently week three and it has been great. But today I tell you, today was almost more than my heart could handle. I spent the 15 minute drive back home just trying to catch my breath. The scripture was from

John 16:20-24
"20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."

Beth's message, well you just have to see if to believe it, especially if you are a grieving mother! You can download it from the website to view. It's session three and I just can't spoil it for you.

As I was driving home I was reminded of a question that I received earlier this week from a coworker that observed me reading my Bible. She asked me about it and then asked "What is it that you feel you get from it?" Well friends, let me tell you, today, Jesus picked me up, wrapped me in swaddling clothes, and held me like a baby." You can't get much more from it than that!

Thank you Jesus!


I usually do not post two times in one day but I had to share here what I shared with my facebook friends this morning. After I posted What I Know this am, I went upstairs to lay down after working last night. I picked up my devotional book that I treasure dearly since November and this is what God had for me.

As I said this morning, I know without a shadow of a doubt , God is in this!

Tonight if you are reading this, I am asking that you pray for a very special family that is preparing to meet their preterm baby girl.  Pray specifically for comfort and peace.  For there is something very Victorious about this baby!

Numbers 6:25-26

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What I Know

I am writing this post this morning for two reasons:  my heart is heavy and I know that there are people that will be looking here for answers about the night I had being that it was very emotional for me.

I want to start by saying that I know without a doubt that God is in this!  He has a purpose, but His purpose doesn't make my pain any less today.  It doesn't make people wonder any less about what exactly is it that continues to hold you such hostage to your emotions.  Why you aren't at least a little better by now.  The answer is I don't really have an answer, all I can tell you is how I feel so here goes....

  • I know that a mother's love was something I thought I  knew a lot about before we lost our girls, but God has shown me that I knew very little.  It is so much bigger than you could ever imagine.
  • I know that as loving human beings, when we lose someone we love and attend a visitation at a funeral home we hope that we never have to go there again, yet everyday I walk into the hospital, it is like walking through the doors of that funeral home.
  • I know that I am wearing clothes that I have not worn in I don't know when because somewhere thirty-five pounds worth of food was just too difficult to eat.
  • I know that my eyes are so tired and teary that they hurt to blink.
  • I know that I have prayed so long and so hard that at times I have prayed..".Lord forgive me because today I am just too tired to pray."
  • I know that my heart and arms still long for a baby.
  • I know that a little bit of makeup and a curling iron can hide a lot of things.
  • I know that heartache makes others uncomfortable.
  • I know that my God is gracious enough to promise me that I will be with my girls again one day.

And finally I know this...

That even in my very most brokenness, God lays thankfulness on my heart.  Thankful for my husband, Glenn and my two beautiful children Grayson and Evan that are with me at home each day.  Thankful for a family that I may have never know had it not been for Annalise and Emmalyn.  And thankful this morning for a very special baby girl and the doctor that was brave enough to save her. 

Oh what I wouldn't give to be 28weeks 4 days!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

God's Purposefulness

Oh how I am so happy to be here writing.  I have relied heavily on God to show what to write here and lately I have not had much so I have not posted.  But oh how He delivered this week.  This week started off rough for me, to the point that on Thursday was a complete breakdown of spirit and body for me.  Totally debilitating!!  I have prayed earnestly all week for God to hold me, show me His mercy, to let me know that He was present at all.  I really struggled with that this week.  If God is in this, then where was He?  Through my quiet time with God this week, my study of His Word, my earnest prayers and a visit with a most special friend, God taught me much about Psalm 46:10

 "Be still, and know that I am God."

After my complete meltdown on started in Thursday, I received a text from my dear friend Dawn.  I have to share with you that Dawn and I met what seems like many moons ago now but in reality was only 13 short years ago when we worked part time in The Disney Store in Charleston.  I actually knew her before I knew my husband.  She was in our wedding and was my closest friend during my time in Charleston.  After Glenn and I married we moved away and several yrs later they (Dawn and her husband) moved back to the St. Louis area where she grew up.  Little did we know our paths would meet again in such a profound way right here in St. Louis.  Anyway.... Dawn has been God's faithful servant to me me during this time of great sadness and daily sends me a text with a scripture verse that God has laid on her heart to share with me and what God has led her to pray for me about on that specific day.  She is also very interested with anything that I may offer to her for her prayers for us.  And I mean my entire family, she prays for all of our needs.  So she said she was off work on Friday and come come visit if I would like her too.  I had not seen her since shortly after we moved here (Thanksgiving 2010)  even though we were so excited to be close again and said we would get together often.  I wasn't sure if I would feel like it on Friday but I said yes because I knew if I woke on Friday and just couldn't do it, that would be okay with her.  We spent most of the morning talking about Annalise and Emmalyn, our faith, strength and struggles.  But the main topic of conversation became God's purposefulness.  A friend that He put in her path for me, the scripture that God leads us too, insomnia that leads to special time with Him in prayer, and a text message that God about a prayer that God specifically answered to the second.  She also pointed out a strength that I have only been able to see as a weakness.  Since losing the girls I have chosen not to have any type of alcohol at all.  No glass of wine, no beer and no mixed drink at all!  I have hurt so bad that I can definitely understand why people turn to alcohol or other means of numbing the pain.  I did not even want to be tempted.  Where I saw this as a weakness, Dawn was quick to point out that my strength was in the fact that I chose not to let myself be tempted to turn to something other than my God, because the number of people that allow themselves to fall away from God and into addiction is astounding.  We shared many tears and I was very sad when our time together ended.  She had provided a glimpse of God for me.

Then today happened.  I got up early and fixed breakfast for the family before we went to church, and no not cereal or bagels, a real breakfast.  As everyone sat and ate, I suggested that we do something together as a family after church like go to a movie.  You really have to know me and know how bad I hate to go to the movies to know what a God thing that was in and of itself.  I would never suggest a movie!  Furthermore, I did not even have a clue what movies were playing at the theater.  Could not have named one.  We went to church (the message itself was great and the music, I just love good music), had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and then headed to the theater.  The only movie even playing at the time we arrived was The Big Miracle.  Everything else had already started or not another show until 4pm.  So in we went.  This is probably where you want to stop reading if you haven't seen the movie because this is where Grayson would give me a "spoiler alert".  The movie is about a family of three whales (dad, mom and baby) that are trapped under a big sheet of ice that has formed over the ocean with only a small hole to come up for air that is quickly freezing over as well.  It becomes the mission of the people to make a way for them to get free and into the open ocean.  By the way the movie is based on a true story.  The grandfather is very in tune to the whales and at one point lies on the ice and tries to get his grandson to listen to the whales under the water.  This is the first place God grabbed me.  He talks about the calming sound of the mother whales noises.  How purposefully comforting she makes them in order to calm the baby whale during this time of great fear;  not knowing whether or not they are going to survive as they sense time is running out.  How it is her job to comfort her baby through times of fear and even asks his grandson "what do you think she is saying to him?"  Here is where it gets good.... remember my earlier post about the questions I had concerning the girls having pain?  And the answer from Dr. Paul, "I believe there is sensation in utero. That includes the sensation of security and comfort."  Oh how beautiful that became to me today.  A feeling that in some way my voice was comforting to my girls during their last moments here with us.  How purposeful God is!!  The story goes on and the whales are hesitant to move from the hole to the open waters even thought the people are making a way for them.  Then finally something changes and they move, only the baby is not with them.  The baby whale has not survived and the tears began to roll.  Now it was time to move forward, without the one they had fought so hard to comfort.  I could never, ever give justice to the story line with my words so please, please go see it.  But in the end the other two whales are rescued from the ice and there is a beautiful story of freedom to be seen.  God touched my heart, well our hearts (not that a man would ever have tears at a movie; hint, hint) in a big way through this movie's storyline.  He did exactly what I have been on my knees begging Him to do all week.  He showed up, in a BIG way!!


"God is mighty, but does not despise men; he is mighty, and firm in His purpose."  Job 36:5

Dear God,  Thank you for showing up even when my faith is lacking.